CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

NASA's Voyager 1 nears our solar system's boundary

06-28-2013 05:13 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. space agency NASA said Thursday its spacecraft Voyage 1 is about to become the first human-made object to cross the boundary from our solar system into interstellar space.

New data revealed in the journal Science suggested that the spacecraft, launched 35 year ago and now more than 18 billion km from the Sun, has been exploring an unexpected region of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles around our Sun, since late last August.

In the region called the magnetic highway, Voyager 1 has detected two of the three signs of interstellar arrival: rapid disappearance of the solar-originating charged particles and low- energy galactic cosmic rays from far outside that originate from dying stars.

NASA said the spacecraft has not yet seen the third sign, an abrupt change in the direction of the magnetic field, which would indicate the presence of the interstellar magnetic field.

"If you looked at the cosmic ray and energetic particle data in isolation, you might think Voyager had reached interstellar space, " said chief scientist Ed Stone of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the mission.

"But the team feels Voyager 1 has not yet gotten there because we are still within the domain of the sun's magnetic field," he said in a statement.

Researchers said they do not know exactly how far Voyager 1 has to go to reach interstellar space. They estimate it could take several more months, or even years, to get there.

Voyager 1 and its twin spacecraft, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977. They toured Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune before embarking on their interstellar mission in 1990. Measuring the size of the heliosphere is part of the Voyagers' mission. Voyager 2 is 15 billion km from the Sun and still inside the heliosphere.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program